Maintaining and Caring for Pet Rats

Maintaining and Caring for Pet Rats

Here we can see, “Maintaining and Caring for Pet Rats”

Rats are intelligent, gregarious creatures who make excellent pets. Although pet rats are reasonably easy to care for, they are not low-maintenance pets. They need a lot of attention and time outside of their cages to exercise—at least an hour per day is optimal. Rats are also easily tamed, making them ideal for people who enjoy handling their pets.

Facts about Pet Rats

  • A pet rat’s lifespan ranges from 18 to 36 months.
  • The majority of pet rats are Norway rats, which are a species of rat (Rattus norvegicus). A Norway rat is also known as a brown rat, a street rat, a sewer rat, a Hanover rat, a Norwegian rat, or a wharf rat.
  • The body of a Norway rat is usually nine to eleven inches long. Their tails measure seven to nine inches in length.
  • Rats come in a variety of breeds and markings, including standard/smooth, rex, hairless, and tailless.
  • Because rats are nocturnal, they are most active at night.
  • Because rats are sociable animals, it is ideal to keep them alongside another rat or a group of rats.
  • Bucks are male rats, does are female rats, and pups are infants.
  • Males are often larger, lazier, and have a rougher coat than females. Females are smaller than males and are more energetic and fun.
  • Rats reach sexual maturity between 6 and 10 weeks, while female rats reach sexual maturity between 8 and 12 weeks. However, they shouldn’t be bred this early, so separate the males and females before they reach this age.
  • When girls approach puberty, they go into heat for around 24 hours every four or five days, and they may appear disturbed or restless during this period. This explains why rats are so easy to breed.
Also See:  What to Do If Your Pet Rat Is Having Breathing Issues

Rats as Pets

Because rats are sociable creatures, they should never be left alone. Pairs or groups of same-sex people are great. Guys generally get along well with other males, especially if they are introduced at a young age or are littermates.

If rats are handled from a young age, keeping them in groups does not make them more difficult to tame. Even if you have multiple pets, you won’t have to worry about forming a link with them. Many rat owners like their pets curiosity and compare their connection to that of a dog.

Where Can I Get a Rat as a Pet?

If you’re looking for a new pet rat, you have a few possibilities. While a pet store is an apparent choice, it is only a smart choice for purchasing a pet rat if the staff is informed about rat care. Examine whether they keep them in proper and hygienic housing, feed them a healthy diet, and handle them on a frequent basis. To avoid a surprise litter, search for stores that separate males and females.

Breeders (also known as ratteries) are the ideal place to go if you’re looking for a well-socialized young rat. From a young age, a good breeder will ensure that the babies are socialised and handled. A breeder is also likely to be your sole option if you’re seeking a specific coat type or colour of rat.

If you want to save a rat in need of a home, you should always look into animal shelters. Look for rat-specific rescue groups or contact local shelters. Choose a rat with a kind disposition, but keep in mind that rescued rats may be wary or hesitant at first. You can generally overcome shyness with perseverance.

Aggressive rats should be avoided regardless of the source. This is harder to deal with because most rats are not naturally aggressive.

Choosing a Rat as a Pet

If you’re looking for a pet rat, avoid ones that seem nervous when touched, especially if they don’t calm down fast. On the other hand, stay away from people who are extremely quiet and tranquil, as they may be sick. A rat that is intrigued enough to approach you is frequently a good choice.

Also See:  How to Maintain a Gambian Pouched Rat as a Pet

When rats are seen, they should be alert and active. You should also search for the following characteristics:

  • The body of the rat should be strong and well-rounded, while younger rats are more prone to being skinny.
  • The nose, eyes, ears, and back end should all be clean and discharge-free.
  • The coat should be well-kept and groomed (healthy rats spend a lot of time grooming).
  • The ears and tail skin should be clean and pink, not red or brown. Sores, redness, and dandruff should not be present.
  • They should not have any sores or “bumbles” on their feet, and they should be able to walk without limping.
  • Lice are common in pet rats; therefore, look behind the ears, where there is less fur, for nits (tiny white eggs on the hair).
  • Keep a check on the rat’s respiration to make sure it isn’t strained, and ensure it isn’t sneezing or has discharge from its nose or eyes. All of these symptoms could indicate rat respiratory illness, which is pretty frequent.
  • Keep an eye out for drooling or dampness around the mouth, which could indicate a dental condition.

You’ll be quite satisfied with your new partner and have a couple of years of pleasure if you choose carefully.

User Questions

Do pet rats stink?

Rats are, in reality, exceptionally clean creatures. They should groom themselves constantly and not stink. If you’re having issues with your rats odour or are afraid of it becoming a problem, rest assured that it can be prevented.

Is it OK to have just one rat?

They frequently run in groups, whether they are tiny or huge. They, like humans and other animals, like being in the company of others. While it’s true that a solitary pet rat can frequently have a healthy life and won’t pine for another rodent, rats with a playmate or two have been found to be happier creatures.

Also See:  Tumors in Rats: How to Identify and Treat Them

Are pet rats noisy at night?

Rats are primarily nocturnal creatures. They can adapt their schedule to yours to some extent, but twilight to dawn is when they are most active. This means that keeping them in your bedroom could result in some sleepless nights.

Can a rat scream?

It’s more common in young rats that haven’t yet developed any ratty social skills; an older rat who is more physically confident is more likely to attack. The rat screaming will typically stand in the boxing position on its hind legs, but instead of facing forward, it will cower backwards against a neighbouring wall.

What do rats like to play with?

Rats like to play with holes in cardboard boxes, toilet paper tubes loaded with shredded paper or hay, little bits of apple branches cut from a pesticide-free tree in the yard, ping-pong balls, and grocery store paper bags.


I hope you found this helpful guide. If you have any questions or comments, don’t hesitate to use the form below.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here